• The Albany Thames Ditton Reopening

    When I heard that The Albany in Thames Ditton, a picturesque premium pub situated by the river, was going to be unveiling its latest refurbishment on February 13th 2019, I couldn’t resist a sneak peak at its contempoary interior and Spring menu which focuses on wellness.

    Despite marking the unofficial holiday that is commonly referred to as ‘Galentines day’ and traditionally celebrates female friendships, I decided to invite Al along for a pre-Valentine’s day meal at their press preview event.

    Focus on Wellness

    Once we had arrived we were immediately greeted with a warm welcome from the general manager Anthony Butcher and his team, before being promptly offered a choice of drinks to try which included the stunning gin station adorned with some colourful fresh ingredients such as strawberries, lemon, blueberries and mint to name just a few.

    Whilst I usually love a gin as well as the chance to experiment with a wide range of concoctions, on this occasion I was curious to try their lighter, low calorie and non-alcoholic offerings, so I went with a Victoria Secret cocktail, which had a refreshing combination of passionfruit and fizz.

    The pub’s layout and newly refurbished interior provided the perfect relaxing backdrop for me and Al to enjoy a quite chat whilst sinking into the plush armchairs. Normally I could blame my sudden sleepiness on a glass of red wine, but on this occasion, I can only assume that it had more to do with the low lighting, flickering fireplaces and extremely comfy seating that was on offer! I only had one sip of red wine throughout the whole evening thanks to their exciting new drinks menu which included some fab alternatives.

    Interesting Interiors

    It was whilst Al and I were both admiring and complimenting the calming tones, tropical prints and gorgeous interior, that Anthony delivered a plate full of canapes which provided the perfect opportunity for Al and I to sample some of this season’s latest offerings from their main menu – deep fried brie, duck liver and port parfait, chargrilled lamb koftas, salt and Szechuan pepper squid.

    After seeing off the canapes, we both decided to go through to the dining room for dinner where our waiter introduced himself and offered his assistance by recommending some dishes, when I enquired about the Vegan menu as I was feeling particularlly brave that evening and was eager to sample some of the pub’s latest offerings.

    Fortunately for me I was not dissapointed as the Vegan curry was incredible, packed full of bold flavours and spice with each layer gradually revealing itself.

    When it comes to Al’s dish, it was delivered looking incredible, the only negative is that it wasn’t actually what he ordered, but it seems this wasn’t an issue as he demolished the steak and it wasn’t until I pointed out that his sauce wasn‘t peppercorn and was in fact bernaise that he realised he had received an entirely different steak, proving that what ever you end up with it’s guranteed to be moreish!

    Another minor issue, again with the service, was its inconsistency as one moment I was left waiting to order a drink, then I was suddenly asked by several waiters and waitresses in close succession if they could get me anything.

    However, given that every member of staff was clearly trying their best to look after a rather large group and it was their first day back with a new manager and team, I believe that this is simply a teething problem and one that would have been addressed, had I brought it to their attention.

    Art on a Plate

    As for the desserts they arrived looking like a piece of art on a plate. Al’s New York cheesecake with fresh berries and mint looked incredible and my simple ice cream and cookie bowl was so delicously good.

    For those of you are still wondering, Yes! We did have a starter. Whilst, the curry was the star of the show for me. My favourite pub classic – camerbert was incredible, so much so the waiter may of caught me licking my fingers and scaping the wrapper for the last remains of cheese – oh the shame.

    As this particular pub is over an hours drive away, this isn’t somewhere that I am likely to visit on a regular basis sadly. However, given its close proximety to Hampton Court Palace and its rather lovely looking terrace that overlooks the river, me and Al do have a bike ride and day visit potentially penciled in for the Summer and with the glorious sunshine and early Spring weather already making an apperance, hopefully that will come sooner rather than later.

    If you are interested in paying The Albany a visit or perhaps like the sound of a glass of wine overlooking the river whilst the world goes by, then you can find out more over on their website which is listed below. A list of food, drinks and Vegan menus can also be found, along with their current offers.

    The Albany Thames Ditton

    Have a lovely evening.

    Love Emma

    XXXX

    Disclaimer: I was offered a three-course meal and drinks in exchange for an honest review. As always all words and opinions remain my own. A huge thank you to all of The Albany team for another incredible night in Thames Ditton.  

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